Summing a Series


In floating-point arithemetic on a computer, a divergent infinite series may have a finite sum. This example was created to show that limited precision may affect terms in the infinite series so that they eventually have no effect on the partial sum of the series. As the terms become smaller and smaller, rounding error becomes more obvious.

To use the example below, select the preferred precision and press compute.

References: (Heath 15, Scientific Computing: An Introductory Survey)


Applet Source, Written by Nicholas Exner.

Created: 9/11/00